WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
May 9, 2013
U.S. Olympians Katie Ledecky, Chloe Sutton and Connor Jaeger showed why they are among the nation’s top swimmers on Thursday, the opening day of the Arena Grand Prix Charlotte UltraSwim at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
Ledecky, 16, the teenage distance sensation, opened the meet with a victory and meet record in the 1500-meter freestyle.
Ledecky won the mile in 16:04.58, second fastest swim in the world and huge time drop. Ledecky’s previous best was 16:24.46. She went 4:11.87 in the opening 400 meters.
“I’m training pretty hard right now,” Ledecky said. “The time was a lot faster than I thought it would be.”
U.S. Olympian Chloe Sutton was second in 16:07.83. Three-time Olympian Kristel Kobrich of Chile was third in 16:08.08.
Stephanie Peacock of North Carolina, after missing the ACC and NCAA Championships, was fifth in 16:33.47 in her first big meet of the year.
Connor Jaeger, 22, of Club Wolverine topped an impressive men’s 800-meter freestyle field in a lifetime-best 7:53.33. The University of Michigan senior negative split the race in 3:58.24 and 3:55.11. It was a seven second time drop for Jaeger.
“I felt like we were out pretty fast, me and Michael Klueh,” Jaeger said. “We’ve been training together. We knew the meet record was just under 8 minutes, so we thought we could go for that. It was a pretty decent race.”
Georgia sophomore Matias Koski of Finland was second in 8:03.05 and Zane Grothe of Auburn was third in 8:04.17. Davie Nadadores’ Alejandro Gomez, 28, was sixth in 8:19.34. Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Ryan Rosenbaum, 18, was 17th in 8:39.54.
The four-day meet continues Friday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The meet ends on Sunday.
During FINA-sanctioned quality control checks, Arena found that certain Powerskin carbon-pro suits have reduced air permeability making the suits non-compliant with FINA rules. Arena has withdrawn the approval codes of the Powerskin carbon-pro models and replace them with a new version that complies with FINA’s guidelines. As of Tuesday, it became mandatory for all swimmers to use the new carbon-pro Mark 2 swimsuits which carry valid codes according to FINA regulations. Athletes competing in both the Charlotte meet and Masters Spring Nationals in Indianapolis were being allowed to exchange their suits at no costs with Arena reps on site…
Britain’s Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley was forced to drop out of the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix diving event in Fort Lauderdale after injuring his elbow while training. The 18-year-old is still expected to compete in this summer’s world championships…In Thursday’s opening action of the Fort Lauderdale diving meet, Olympic gold medalist David Boudia advanced into Saturday’s 10-meter final and U.S. teammate Amanda Burke advanced into the women’s 3-meter final. As expected, China dominated and had all the top qualifying spots. The meet continues Friday with men’s 3-meter and women’s 10-meter events.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com